Railroad Service Report Update – Jan ’21
Weekly service report updates for Class 1 railroads provided by the Surface Transportation Board (STB) were recently updated with values spanning through the end of 2020. Total cars online remained above the May ’20 record low levels but finished 1.4% lower on a YOY basis. Grain rail transportation speeds declined on a YOY basis for the tenth consecutive week while ethanol rail transportation speeds finished lower for the ninth consecutive week. Total Railcars Online: Jan 2nd week ending total railcars online totaled 971,500, finishing 1.0% below the previous week but remaining 3.3% above the record low level experienced throughout the second week of May ’20. Online railcar figures have been compiled since the fourth quarter of 2014. Total railcars online remained lower on a YOY basis for the 112th consecutive week, however, finishing down 1.4%. Total railcars online reached record low levels following the significant declines in manufacturing experienced during the early stages of COVID-19. Manufacturing and railcars online have each rebounded partially since, but remain below previous year levels. Grain Rail Transportation: Jan 2nd week ending grain train speeds of 24.1 MPH declined 4.2% on a YOY basis but remained 6.3% above historical average grain train speeds. The YOY decline in grain train speeds was the tenth experienced in a row. Ethanol Rail Transportation: Jan 2nd week ending ethanol train speeds of 23.9 MPH finished 7.1% below previous year levels but remained 4.4% above historical average ethanol train speeds. The YOY decline in ethanol train speeds was the ninth experienced in a row.